Romuald Dikoume, untitled (2017). Courtesy the artist.
Arakawa Africa, OGU MAG and YaPhoto – Yaounde Photo Network, in collaboration with Making Histories Visible (University of Central Lancashire) are pleased to announce YaPhoto@Arakawa Africa, a three-day event on Cameroonian photography and video art from Africa and the Diaspora.
Organised as a pre-event to Arakawa Africa, an annual art project bridging the African presence in Tokyo’s Arakawa ward with cultures from the continent, YaPhoto@Arakawa Africa will consist of a photography exhibition, video art screenings and an illustrated talk by Christine Eyene, co-founder of YaPhoto.
The exhibition will feature Romuald Dikoume, Blaise Djilo, Max Mbakop, Steve Mvondo and Yvon Ngassam, five Cameroonian photographers never exhibited in Japan before. Romuald Dikoume’s work in progress is a visual experiment involving protagonists performing scenes of pre-colonial times. Excerpts from Blaise Djilo’s series Feou Kake (2016) will present out of the ordinary figures taking part in a traditional harvest celebration in the Northern part of Cameroon. Max Mbakop series on roller-skate and BMX will show one aspect of urban culture in Douala. Steve Mvondo’s Crown of Beauty (2016) is an exquisite series of studio portraits of women wearing headwraps, an important signifier within black female politics of representation. Yvon Ngassam, who is currently exhibiting at the 2nd Changjiang International Photography and Video Biennale (China), will invite visitors to discover the town of Bandjoun, in Western Cameroon, through amazing rural and urban landscapes, cultural heritage, portraits and various scenes.
In addition to the photography exhibition will be programmed Digital Africa (Tokyo) a new iteration of the video art screening first presented in London last May in collaboration with Open Source and Vortex. A new open call is inviting artists from Africa and the Diaspora to submit video pieces focusing on aesthetic forms, sonic components and experimental video editing translating visual cultures and experiences, as well as collective or personal narratives, beyond the language barrier.
Finally, Christine Eyene will introduce YaPhoto to the public and discuss Cameroonian photography in relation to the broader context of Africa and the global art scene.